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Wees onzichtbaar

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  5,399 ratings  ·  488 reviews
De Bijlmermeer, begin jaren tachtig. De vijfjarige Turkse Metin komt met zijn ouders en zus naar Nederland. Het gezin gaat in de flat Fleerde wonen. Vader is een werkloze communist die overdag boeken van Marx leest en zich ’s avonds bezat met vrienden. Thuis is hij vaak gewelddadig en dan siddert het hele gezin. Metin vreest hem en maakt zich onzichtbaar. Maar langzaam – a ...more
Paperback, 600 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Ambo|Anthos
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Alicia Smaken verschillen, het is maar wat je zoekt in een boek. Ik hou juist wel van een ingetogen schrijfstijl die veel aan de verbeelding overlaat en haak…moreSmaken verschillen, het is maar wat je zoekt in een boek. Ik hou juist wel van een ingetogen schrijfstijl die veel aan de verbeelding overlaat en haak af bij lange lyrische beschrijvingen of boeken die de emoties uitspellen. (less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,399 ratings  ·  488 reviews

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Ayala Levinger
it had offensive parts with sexism, objectification and misogyny. and I get that a coming of age of a junior high schooler will include this period when boys think with their dick but it was written as memoir, in prespective of a distance from the past so I think I would have enjoyed it better if it included reflection on this sexism, like "now I know i was being sexist.." it makes a reader who is not a cis hetero man feels like this book was not written also for them. ...more
Saskia Wessels
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book completely blew me away. Wees Onzichtbaar (En: Be Invisible, book not yet translated) is the partly autobiographical story of a Turkish boy, Metin, who grows up in the Bijlmer – Amsterdam’s infamous high-rise residential neighborhood – in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

Although Murat Isik is an accomplished author and Wees Onzichtbaar won several literary awards when it was published in 2017, I didn’t read it until now. I’m happy I did, because this novel is a brilliant coming-of-age sto
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shows the Bijlmer from the past. Some recognizable things when I went to school there.
Hesther Van Gulick
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE NOW?? What am I supposed to do with this Metin-shaped hole in my heart? These characters can't just leave me now. How about another 600 pages? That sounds good! Someone have Murat's phone number? ...more
Lucia Boxelaar
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book. I grew up in NL at the same time but in a very different rural setting. So in reading Metin’s story there was both recognition and familiarity, and also a challenge to think who the Metins in my classrooms were as I was growing up and what they may have been grappling with. Isik does an amazing job in describing the characters and situations, however I think he could have done more to develop the storyline. Nearly five stars but not quite.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4,5 stars!
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the book I chose to read for my Dutch literature course within the theme ”Multicultural Literature”. I’m so glad I picked this book since I just loved this coming of age-novel about a Turkish immigrant growing up in the block buildings outside of Amsterdam. A story about growing up in two very different cultures and learning to become more visible (”zichtbaar”) in the world. A raw, touching autobiography of the author and an ode to The Bijlmermeer. I will miss the main character Metin l ...more
Heilet Van
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best book I read in 2018. I literally couldn’t put it down, despite the almost 600 pages. Beautiful coming of age novel of a sensitive little boy growing up in the Bijlmermeer, an increasingly unsafe residential area of Amsterdam. This Turkish immigrant family have to put up with racial prejudice from the outside world, and on the inside struggle to get around the dominant, tyrannical father.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a magnificent book. For my English friends: I hope it will be translated. It's a jewel about Dutch immigrant culture. It describes very well the environment of the Bijlmer some years ago.

It's hard for me to review this without spoiling the story, but of course it's obvious from the start that the father of the family is a difficult man. It's amazing how well Murat describes the atmosphere that this creates. Not angrily, just how it was, I think. One can sense between the lines both the
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When you cannot put a book away and spend every free moment you have continuing to read, you know it's a good one. It's a beautiful coming-of-age story that has made me think, not only did I learn a lot about Bijlmer, Amsterdam, I also had a feeling I was experiencing what it was like to be an introverted, shy kid that has a very different youth than I had myself. It was mindblowing in many ways but still has such a lightness to it that makes it a true pleasure to read. ...more
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice, but too long, with a good start and good enough finish.
Several times reminded me of Orhan Pamuk, with the central story being about generational change, and not in the least because of the author's regular use of similes, but where Isik doesn't always get it quite right, giving the impression of the author trying too hard, but ultimately failing.
Eva Jacobs
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was a really special book. About a boy, growing up in a Turkish family, living in a small flat in Amsterdam. It is about protecting your family, although it means stepping up to your own father, helping friends and how to deal with bullies. It is also about the struggle of immigrants to build a life in the Netherlands.
Ibrahim Alaoui Chrifi
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking, cried a couple of times. I wish I could've given the protagonist a huge hug and tell him he's gonna be okay. Probably will speak to mostly, and probably only, non-white children of first generation non-western immigrants and their youth in Europe. ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cont-historic
A wonderful time piece of the Bijlmermeer, a neighbourhood in Amsterdam where in 1992 an airplane crashed into several flats. The writer, originating from Turkey, came to live there with his parents and sister in the 80's and he tells a captivating story. ...more
Monique Verhoeven
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intruiging story that provides insights into the life of an immigrated family that pretty much takes place behind closed doors. Also provides a nice depiction of the eighties and nineties in the Netherlands and the Bijlmer in particular.
Leah Van oorschot
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nl-fiction
What a WONDERFUL read! It took me a while to finish it but I enjoyed every second of it. Such a beautiful coming of age story about a boy struggling with his identity. Being from an immigrant background myself I could relate to Metin and his struggles in trying to fit in.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This 600 page book is a bit of a hype in NL because of its theme; I found it much too long and explicit and wished a good editor had cut it by more than half ...
Helgi Helgason
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just a regular life of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands in the Nineties told by a young boy growing up in one of the ghettos, Bijlmeer.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! Recommend it a lot
Aniana Taelman
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I expected so much more of it!
Wera J
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it
Sophie Gilles
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful coming of age book
Roland Hack
Martijn Maria
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really, really great book. Made me think of Ham on Rye. If you love Bukowski, I guess this book suits your taste.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read it in one go
Irene Boots
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn’t like it. Nothing “really” happens. I didn’t get sucked into the character enough. Skipped some parts because it’s hella thick.
Oana Manolescu
Feb 17, 2021 rated it liked it
It's black and white and basically tells you what to think. The father is a negative figure, the neighborhood is full of junkies and so on. No place for nuances ...more
Chloë Valerie Jane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grada (BoekenTrol)
I finally finished this book.
I liked it a lot, it was one that gave me a peak into another person's life. Okay: it is fiction, but it's written in a manner, that it could have been an autobiography as well.

The story of a boy of 5 years old, immigrant, bullied at school, who lives in a part of Amsterdam that has a bad reputation throughout the whole country.
Metin's story of overcoming the problems life throws at him (both in his family as well as in the outside world) is mirrored in the story o
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Murat Isik is een Nederlandse schrijver en jurist van Zaza-Turkse afkomst. Hij studeerde rechtsgeleerdheid aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en San Francisco State University.

Murat Isik is a Dutch author and lawyer of Zaza-Turkish descent. He studied law at the University of Amsterdam and at San Francisco State University.

News & Interviews

Secrets between siblings, grandparents with grievances, parents with problems. If you're looking for serious drama, check out these new...
30 likes · 3 comments
“We moesten geduld hebben, hield ik mezelf voor. We moesten geduld hebben en doorstaan wat op ons afkwam. Het had geen zin om weg te lopen voor de pijn, we konden nergens heen. En als het ons te veel werd, moesten we onzichtbaar zijn.” 3 likes
“Op een dag - ik was een jaar of negen - werd het mij allemaal duidelijk. 'Ik had nooit kinderen moeten nemen,' zei mijn vader terwijl hij naar het tafelblad staarde alsof het pas op dat moment tot hem doordrong, en we medelijden met hem moesten hebben. 'Harun, niet waar de kinderen bij zijn,' zei mijn moeder. 'Ze mogen het weten,' zei hij. 'Ze moeten weten dat ik anders ben.' Hij zweeg even en keek toen ineens trots op: 'Ik ben geen klassieke vader, ik ben een communist!'
Ik keek hem onbewogen aan. En ik herinner me goed dat ik me niet gekwetst voelde. Voor het eerst voelde ik me niet gekwetst, want ik dacht: je hebt gelijk. Je hebt helemaal gelijk, baba. Dit zegt een vader niet tegen zijn kinderen. En alles daarom al had je geen kinderen moeten nemen. Alleen daarom al had je geen vader mogen worden. Alleen daarom al had je mijn vader niet mogen zijn.”
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